Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a are differentiated by their size, yet with not that big a gap between them in that department we reckon the cheaper 3a offers the better deal. You might be tempted by the slightly better battery life on the larger model, though it’s not going to make a huge difference in daily usage.
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It’s rare to find two brand-new phones so closely aligned in specification, yet so distant in price. While the
Pixel 3a will cost just £399/US$399 when it goes on sale tomorrow, the
Pixel 3a XL costs an extra £70/$80 for, well, not a lot extra.
Both Pixels feature the same core hardware, and the exact same software. The 12.2Mp primary camera, a key selling point for Pixel 3a, is also a constant across the range. So what is the difference?
Aside from the price, all that differs between the two is size. While the Pixel 3a has a 5.6in screen, the Pixel 3a XL has a 6in panel, both Full-HD+ OLED displays. Once upon a time in the smartphone market that meant for a significant difference in size, but with the pair adopting trendy new tall aspect ratios (18.5:9 and 18:9 respectively) this is no longer the case. There is just 6mm separating the two in height, 8.8mm in width, and 20g in weight. Both fit into an 8.2mm-thick chassis.
So while the Pixel 3a XL’s panel is going to be marginally more useful for watching media, playing games and getting stuff done, don’t expect a huge difference between the two – certainly not enough to justify the extra outlay for most people.
That said, with a larger chassis the Pixel 3a XL is also able to fit a higher-capacity battery – 3700mAh against the 3a’s 3000mAh. Until we’ve had the opportunity to run extensive testing it’s difficult to see how much difference this will make. Google says the XL will offer 14 hours of video playback compared to the 3a’s 12, and up to 18 days of standby rather than the 3a’s 13.
Both phones support 18W fast-charging, and both can offer up to 7 hours of use from a 15-minute charge.
3000mAh 7 hours life in 15 mins charge 12 hours video playback
3700mAh 7 hours life in 15 mins charge 14 hours video playback
Polycarbonate unibody, available in Just Black, Clearly White, Purple-ish
2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 octa-core, Titan M security module
4GB LPDDR4X RAM
12.2Mp Dual-Pixel Sony IMX363 Autofocus with dual-pixel phase detection Optical + electronic image stabilisation f/1.8 aperture 76-degree field of view 1/2.55″ image sensor 1.4um pixel width 720p video at 30/60/240fps, 1080p video at 30/60/120fps, 4K video at 30fps
8Mp 1.12um pixel width f/2.0 aperture Fixed focus 84-degree field of view 480p video at 30fps, 720p video at 30fps, 1080p video at 30fps